Romans 11: 29 …for God’s gifts are irrevocable. (NIV)
As a college freshman, I majored in mathematics. I enjoyed it but after a year of being a math major, I envisioned that my future career would likely be that of a math teacher. Teaching was NOT what I wanted to do! So I changed my major to become a civil engineer because I wanted to build things. I did not want to be a teacher.
My mom would regularly “suggest” with her Southern accent, “You are a teacher, whether you recognize it or not!” Of course at age nineteen, I did not always appreciate parental suggestions.
I now recognize that the Holy Spirit, and my mom’s advice, led me to approach a former engineering professor at Vanderbilt to ask about possibly teaching one transportation class. The next year, while employed full-time as a transportation engineer with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, I was hired to teach one class. One year turned into two years of teaching. I had the same class Monday, Wednesday and Friday on my lunch hour each spring. This led to the earning of a “terminal degree” that luckily was not terminal and a wonderful college teaching career! What my mom recognized, and I did not, was that I already was a teacher! Leading Boy Scouts, teaching Red Cross swimming lessons for multiple summers, and being an adult Sunday School teacher were all part of my early life.
Now after almost 45 years of teaching an adult Sunday School class, and 37 years as a Vanderbilt college professor, I guess I am a teacher. I do, in fact, have a spiritual gift, and I hope I have honored that gift in a responsible manner over the years.
The lesson here is to be still and listen to where you are being led. Overcoming initial resistance and fears can lead to fulfillment and happiness. I hope you have special memories of all those who have taught you in so many ways along life’s journey.
Prayer: Give us the wisdom to recognize where the Holy Spirit leads us…and that our parents get smarter and smarter the older we become.
Challenge: We often tend to be stubborn and resistant to change and suggestions. But when we listen and then step out in faith, fulfilling service and happiness can follow.